Screen Australia will invest $216,000 in development funding across seven feature film projects, including three that the funding agency has previously supported.
Three of the four new projects are comedies: Pandamonium, Versus Vampire, and They Shoot Hostages, Don’t They? The final new project is horror film The Rapture. The three projects which will receive another round of development support are Matchbox Pictures comedy Ali's Wedding, See-Saw Films' biopic Life, and Kieran Darcy-Smith's crime drama Memorial Day.
Meanwhile, producer Bec Cubitt and writer/director Will Kuether have also been selected to undertake professional internships through Screen Australia’s Talent Escalator Program.
Cubitt will spend six months working in London at Ridley Scott’s production company Scott Free under the mentorship of executive producer Jack Arbuthnott. Australian producer interns Caroline Gerard and Sheila Jayadev have previously worked there with Screen Australia support.
Kuether will work in Los Angeles for five months at Disruption Entertainment (which is producing Darren Aronofsky’s Noah) under the mentorship of executive vice president of production Luke Ryan.
Synopsis: A young Muslim man with big dreams and an even bigger heart must find a way to marry the love of his life, despite being promised to another.
Producers: Helen Panckhurst, Michael McMahon
Writers: Osamah Sami, Andrew Knight
Producers: Emile Sherman, Iain Canning
Writer: Luke Davies
Synopsis: Two brothers – one out of his depth in a hard world he doesn’t understand, the other recently returned from a period of self-imposed exile – struggle to redress the fallout from a past family tragedy.
Genre: Crime Drama
Producers: Angie Fielder, Ted Hope
Writer/Director: Kieran Darcy-Smith
Synopsis: The main ‘stud’ from China’s panda breeding program has lost his interest in the ladies. To save the species (and her job), beautiful hard-working zoologist Li-Chen must travel to Australia to retrieve a replacement panda that was lent to Taronga Zoo. Accompanied by WuHu’s love-struck keeper Mick, the return journey goes hilariously off the rails when the replacement panda goes missing.
Genre: Family Comedy Adventure
Producers: Janelle Landers, Aidan O’Bryan
Writer: Duncan Kennedy
Synopsis: A group of scientists, accompanied by a journalist, set out to protest the drilling of a cave in Indonesia, a cave teeming with new species. Forced into the cave by the miners, they have to try and get out alive. As one of the group’s mental state deteriorates, she is forced to question what is real and what is in her head.
Producer: James Brown
Writer: Grant Scicluna
THEY SHOOT HOSTAGES, DON’T THEY?
Synopsis: Mono, a small-time crook out for revenge, cons Braandi and Telford, a beautiful but naive film student and an out of work method actor, into helping him make his first film. But the team is blissfully unaware that they are taking part in an elaborate fraud and that Mono is producing a ransom plea for a hostage that isn’t even alive.
Producer: Julie Ryan
Executive Producers: Jonathan Page, Bryce Menzies
Writer/Directors: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes
Synopsis: Two hapless animal control ‘professionals’ and lifelong friends are called out to Chinatown for a job, literally, from hell. On meeting up with a beautiful Taoist vampire hunter, they must use all their skills to fight the powerful Triad vampire and save the city.
Producer/Writer: Patrick McDonald